The Judge: Movie Review

Brilliance is one word we thought could easily encapsulate "The Judge". The film has one charismatic Robert Downey Jr. at the helm and coupled with an undeniable on-screen chemistry with Robert Duvall, "the Judge" is not only beautifully shot and is not only beautifully acted but it is one heck of a drama show piece at its core. While it brings in some emotional oomph, much can be said with its overtly bloated and rather confused script.

Big city lawyer Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.) is forced to return to his childhood home when his mom dies. As Hank returns, old wounds open up with the family he walked away from years before especially with his father, Judge Joseph Palmer (Robert Duvall). As the town’s judge for decades, Joseph Palmer has served not only as a guide but as a beacon of justice to its population. This all changes as the judge is suspected of running over and murdering a man. Hank Palmer is soon forced to represent his father as he battles to save him from being imprisoned - a process that will not only test his skills as a lawyer but also as a son who has had issues with his dad ever since he was little.

With all its merits, "The Judge" falters with a frustrating pace and script. At times obtuse, at times smart, the film had a hard time defining what it wanted to be. This is further exacerbated with its two and a half hour running time that could have surely slimmed down by cutting some unnecessary scenes (mostly of the light humor kind) and probably even some minor characters. But moving onto the positive side of things, "The Judge" turns out to be one of the most dramatic and emotional films we have seen all year. This is no thanks to outstanding performances from its two leads, the two Roberts, Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall. The father-and-son dynamic presents a very complicated relationship of love, hate and hurt that the two were able to convey flawlessly. Couple the acting with cinematography literally shimmering with subtle tones and beauty and what you get is one film which will leave you breathless with emotions.

Rating: 4 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- extremely beuatiful acting from Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall
- brings on some emotional oomph

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- somewhat bloated and definitely could have had some scenes cut from the final product

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